Google Search Rival Said to Be Working on Its Own Electric Car
17 December 2020 - autoevolution
Tech giants have become more and more interested in the automotive market in recent years.
While Apple is still working on Project Titan, which is supposed to bring us a highly anticipated Apple Car, others, including Google and Amazon, are sticking with the technology and services powering smart vehicles.
Chinese tech behemoth Baidu has more ambitious plans, and the company has reportedly reached out to several local car manufacturers in an attempt to find a partner that would help them build an electric vehicle.
While at this point it's not yet clear if Baidu is aiming to launch a self-driving car or just stick with the standard EV concept, the company is already part of the automotive industry with Apollo, an autonomous driving unit founded in 2017, which builds AI-powered tech for other companies like Volkswagen and Toyota.
On the other hand, it would make sense for Baidu to launch a self-driving car, especially because the Chinese tech giant is already the main name behind Go Robotaxi, an autonomous taxi service that's currently operating in China. So, in theory, Baidu has pretty much everything it needs to begin the production of a self-driving car, only that it must find someone to be in charge of the process and guide the company as it makes its first steps in the automotive industry.
As per Reuters, the Chinese tech firm has already held preliminary talks with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, and China FAW Group Corp Ltd's Hongqi. Out of them, only GAC confirmed it held talks on a possible partnership with Baidu but didn't share any specifics.
Baidu, which is also the company behind the number one search engine in China and the maker of Baidu Maps, a local Google Maps rival, is yet to make a decision on its cooperation with other carmakers.
Needless to say, the firm has remained completely tight-lipped on any potential plans to launch an electric vehicle.